Ever Wished You Could Go to Middle Earth?

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Well, you can… sort of.

Hey friends…

Just wanted to share something with you that will give you a unique way to practice self-care, to take a respite from the noisy world of “things to do” and allow you to escape, relax and just go, “Ahhhh,” for a little while.

Some years ago, I came across these amazing guided Middle Earth meditations and have been using them on and off ever since. If you love to use your imagination and you’re a lover of all things Lord of the Rings, then I hope you’ll enjoy these meditations (SEE BELOW) by two English gentlemen who create these fantastic relaxation videos.

All you have to do is give yourself 15-20 minutes, lean back, or lie down, close your eyes, maybe put some earphones in, and allow yourself to enter a mythical, mystical world where you see and hear with your mind places you’ve possibly wished you could travel to.

My personal favorite is The Green Elven Wood (of course!) and Shelter in the Hobbit Shire. Let me know which ones you like.  Enjoy!

Maybe they will even inspire your own creativity. Hope so!  😉

Blessings & creative juice…

Monique
Artist & Coach
http://www.artoflifecoachmonique.com/ 

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Let’s have a conversation. You can click this link to schedule an introductory call with me and we can explore where you are feeling stuck and how to help you move forward. No charge. Just please follow through if you book. 

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7-STEP CALMING EXERCISE TO DE-STRESS YOUR HOLIDAYS

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The holidays can come with a barrage of expectations and emotions, not to mention stress and deadlines that seem all-important.

You may feel like you’ll never get everything done.

You may be dreading having to be around that certain person that gets under your skin (everyone seems to have at least one).

You may have realized you said “yes” to things you wish you’d said “no” to.

You may be worried you won’t be able to resist all the food that isn’t good for you. 

Healthy boundaries will be key during this time, no matter what the situation. So I’ve created this little calming exercise for you. (You may want to print it and keep it on hand.)

I hope it will help you in moments when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious: STOP and BREATHE.

So simple, isn’t it? Yet so difficult to remember sometimes when in the throes of so many things going on.

Here’s how:

  1. Go into a room by yourself (or a bathroom stall, if need be).

  2. Close your eyes.

  3. Take 5-10 slow, deep breaths.

  4. Think about something good, true and/or beautiful. It could be a place you love to go, a person you feel good around, or anything you really, really love.

  5. Say a prayer of gratitude. Maybe for something specific like your eyesight. Or someone wonderful in your life. Or that you got through something difficult this year.

  6. Open your eyes.

  7. Take one more deep breath.

Now re-enter whatever situation was making you feel stressed or anxious.

You should notice a huge difference. And you can use this any time, not just during the holidays!

In the calm, you may sense the presence of the One who came to unburden us, to calm the storms within and without… who came to give us rest. Whatever the situation, that gentle presence looms quietly. EMMANUEL. God with us.

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Let me know if this helps you!

If you’d like to connect with me for coaching, click here to schedule an introductory call. 

Wishing you joy, peace, hope and love this season!

Monique

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Movie Tip – Reign Over Me


I had been wanting to watch this film for years and finally got to it the other night. Besides the fact that one of my favorite actors (Don Cheadle) is in it, I was pleasantly surprised by Adam Sandler’s excellent performance in a dramatic role. The reason I think the film is so important is because it addresses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and specifically, the forgotten people who were left in the wake of 9/11, having lost family members and their entire lives from the tragic events that took place 16 years ago.

PTSD is not addressed nearly enough in the media, yet many people suffer from it due to both physical and psychological trauma, so I appreciated that this film not only takes on this difficult yet important topic, but that it does so with such tenderness, humor and honesty.

I love that it reminds us that we’d best not judge anyone, least of all the homeless, or people who may have homes, but have no sense of family or belonging–those who wander lost and misunderstood, trying to forget the tragedies they have experienced. From the soldiers returning from war who aren’t given adequate mental help for the psychological wounds they carry due to the horrors they’ve witnessed, to those who have experienced untold personal horrors–there are many walking wounded among us. Instead of judging, we need to try and imagine what led a person to the place they are now. Even if we don’t always have financial means to help them, we can always be kind.

I hope that films like this continue to be made and may they remind us that we are all wounded in some way, and that we aren’t here to judge, only to love. Don Cheadle’s character, Alan Johnson, is the epitome of a true friend–a quiet, unsung hero who never gives up reaching out to his old college pal to help him find healing. Let’s be like Alan Johnson.

IMDB link for Reign Over Me.

 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN…?

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What do you do when the hardships you face seem like too much to bear? It could be something very serious happening to a loved one, it could be your health, it could be your living situation, it could be your marriage…it could be all of the above at once. Everything is shrieking at you to pay attention to it, to tend to it, to do something, for God’s sake!

So what do you do?

Honestly, I can’t tell you what you should do, but I can tell you the only thing I know to do, the only thing that makes sense, though it goes against everything the exterior world clamors…

For God’s sake (and my own and others’)…I get very, very still. I go inside…into the inner chamber of my heart…and there, I find God waiting for me. There, in the stillness, in the quiet, “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen,” as Rumi wisely said.

And so I listen.

And I hear a call above the waves and wind shouting, “Be still!” (It’s incredible how loud that inaudible voice can be.) That call is the anchor that draws the little boat of my soul back into the only harbor that gives peace…God’s presence.

There, my thoughts are calmed. There, the injustices that stare me in the face lose their power. There, answers are found. There, my heartbeat is restored to a normal rate.

There are some extremely frightening things going on in my life right now, in the life of someone I love (life or death things not related to illness) so being able to even sit down and write this is the only proof I need that it’s true–there is power in stillness, there is power in faith and hope, and there is relief from fear in God’s love. I don’t feel it every minute, but that says more about my wandering focus than about God.

There is a time to do all we can to work, to help, to tend to…and there is a time to be still, to trust and to wait for the answers to come. It is a very fine art to find the balance between these two and to live within them.

I do not know of anything that is made better by anxiety and fear. I only know of all the things that are made better by trust and love.

 

– Monique Amado

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* Image credit: Christian Schloe

THE PRISON OF YOUR MIND

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Hi friends,

If you don’t know who Sean Stephenson is, you’re about to meet an endearing, gentle man who has more obstacles to overcome than most, but instead of complaining about it, he is taking his challenges and turning them into inspiration.

May you be inspired by his strength and wisdom in this short TED talk.

“Never believe a prediction that doesn’t empower you.” – Sean

Wishing you a great rest of the week!

Blessings and peace,

Monique

**If you’d like to talk with me, you can schedule an appointment by following this link for a 30-minute call by Skype or phone (no charge) or fill out the contact form below. I’d be happy to hear from you.

Remembering Your Belovedness (with Henri Nouwen)

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Dear friends,

The best way to value ourselves is to remember, and bask in, who God says we are and how much God values us. If we stay grounded there in that Great Love, it becomes less and less likely that we will devalue ourselves or allow others to do so.

This is an old talk by Henri Nouwen which I think will help you, as his words have helped me, to stay connected to who God says you are. It will strengthen you in all your inner and outer dealings in this world. I listen to the entire thing at least once or twice a year to refresh my memory and keep me strong.


In case you don’t know who Henri Nouwen is, he was a grace-infused human being who lived and worked among the L’Arche Community and said that these lovely people taught him more about God’s acceptance than anyone else. He said this was due to the fact that they did not know or understand anything about his degrees, his accolades or his accomplishments (let alone his failures and weaknesses), but only knew him by his heart.

Believe me, time listening to these words will be time well spent.

Wishing you God’s peace & security…

Monique